San Diego Sheriff's Crime Lab

Jennifer Harmon
Crime Laboratory Director

Anthony DeMaria
Assistant Crime Laboratory Director

The principal mission of the San Diego County Sheriff's Crime Laboratory is to provide impartial, reliable, accurate, and timely forensic science services to the Sheriff's Department and the criminal justice community.

The Sheriff's Crime Laboratory embodies this vision by providing expertise and by using cutting-edge scientific technology for the analysis of evidence in support of the criminal justice system. The newly constructed Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory facility is one of the finest, state-of-the-art, well-equipped crime laboratories of its kind in California and the nation. It represents the Sheriff Department's commitment to bringing the citizens of San Diego County the highest quality of analysis and comparison of physical evidence collected during a criminal investigation.

The Sheriff's Crime Laboratory is currently located on the County of San Diego Operations Center Campus in Kearny Mesa. The 156,000
square foot facility built at the cost of $107 million was opened in June of 2018. The five-story structure offers expansive laboratory space and increased energy efficiency in comparison to the previous facility that was housed in the old Clairemont Community Hospital building. The Sheriff‘s Crime Laboratory was designed to utilize natural light in combination with floor-to-ceiling glass and an open- laboratory design to create a positive work environment for staff. In 2019, the Sheriff‘s Crime Laboratory building was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

The Sheriff's Crime Laboratory is a full service laboratory providing forensic services to over thirty law enforcement agencies which include state and federal agencies as well as the Sheriff's Department and municipal police agencies in San Diego County. The Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory covers a service area of 4,200 square miles and processes approximately 15,000 forensic cases per year.

The Sheriff's Crime Laboratory staff is comprised of eighty examiners who perform forensic analysis of physical evidence in the areas of Controlled Substances, Crime Scene Investigations, Firearms, Forensic Alcohol, Toxicology, Forensic Biology (DNA), Latent Prints, Questioned Documents, and Trace Evidence. The Crime Laboratory also provides expert scientific testimony to the various courts throughout San Diego County.

The Sheriff's Crime Laboratory is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) National Accreditation Board (ANAB) as a Testing and Calibration Laboratory and has maintained accreditation for over seventeen years.

The Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory has been an active partner with the law enforcement community of San Diego County providing forensic courses and presentations, which promote the use and understanding of scientific evidence in criminal investigations. The Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory values giving back to the community and participates in community outreach by offering tours to local educational institutions and by attending public outreach events, and provides opportunities for individuals interested in starting a career in forensic science by providing an active internship program.

It is this constant process of evaluation, improvement, and dedication to the needs of local law enforcement that keeps the Sheriff's Crime Laboratory on the cutting-edge of the forensic sciences. The Sheriff's Crime Laboratory strives to provide the citizens of San Diego County the most advanced analysis of physical evidence in a cost-effective way, thus contributing to the increased safety of the residents of San Diego County.